The new health insurance marketplaces will be open for business Oct. 1 (provided there are no setbacks from the government), and the quickly approaching deadline has got everyone in the country holding their breath.
An estimated 7 million consumers are expected to enroll through the marketplace in its inaugural enrollment period. That provides an enormous opportunity for agents who decide to participate.
For those of you who are interested in capitalizing on this potentially massive opportunity, it’s important to follow the right steps to ensure your success in the new market.
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Research your market
As you probably already know, marketplaces in all 50 states, plus Washington D.C., are categorized as a federally facilitated marketplace (FFM), state-partnership marketplace (SPM) or state-based marketplace (SBM) – and not all markets are created equally.
Do your research to find out where your state stands and what is required of agents who want to participate in on-exchange sales. Do you need to take a test, attend in-person training or register online?
A good place to start is your insurance commissioner’s website or your state’s health insurance exchange website.
Related story: Public is confused about state health exchanges
After doing your research, you’ll learn that each of the marketplaces, and even some states, require a certain amount of training before you can become certified to sell on-exchange health products to your clients.
FFM and SPM states require agents to become certified by the federal government (through the Centers for Medicare& Medicaid Service’s new training website) in order to get a marketplace user ID. Each of the SBM states have different regulations on what is required of agents, so make sure you’re fulfilling the right requirements.